6 places it pays to move to

Some communities will make it worth your while to relocate by paying toward your student loans or covering other expenses.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 3, 2013 7:30PM

This post comes from Jennifer Holder at partner blog Wise Bread.


Wise Bread logoAcross the country, a lot of cities (and states) want you to move there for one reason or another. Some are looking for a way to revitalize formerly thriving communities or neighborhoods. Some want you to move closer to downtown (if you're already working there). And some communities are just really, really small and want new blood (don't worry, Bon Temps is not on this list).


Image: Niagara Falls © Martin Ruegner/Digital Vision/Getty ImagesCheck out the list below, and maybe you'll find a new place to live and earn some extra money, too.


1. Niagara Falls, N.Y.

Maybe you saw the headlines: Niagara Falls wants to help pay off your student loan debt. The city is looking for some fresh blood to move to town and take advantage of all it has to offer. Leaders there want you so badly that they're willing to pay you $3,500 per year for up to two years (if you've graduated in the past two years), with all money to be used toward paying off student loan debt. Check out the program, and if you think you stand a chance, apply!


2. Rural Kansas

Most of rural Kansas offers former students a program similar to Niagara Falls' student loan debt program. To be eligible, you must live in a Rural Opportunity Zone (there are about 50 counties to choose from). You could receive up to $15,000 in student loan payments. new residents can also receive tax waivers.


3. Milnor, N.D.

My research turned up some weird results. For instance, Milnor, N.D., a town of 700, wants a few more people to add to the welcome sign. This town offers some interesting deals: $500 toward the cost of installing sewer and water lines; free minimum on water, garbage, sewer and vector control for two years; an individual or family swimming pool pass and golf membership; and a school activities pass for one year.

4. Detroit

Detroit is the poster child for the decline of U.S. manufacturing, but it has some positives. After all, it's where the auto industry thrives still. The Detroit Tigers were just in the World Series (although they lost rather quickly). A ton of amazing musicians are either from there or got their start there. And the incentives to move there are pretty great, too.


If you work in Southeast Michigan for one of five companies, the city wants to offer you some incentives for either renting or owning downtown -- with perks from forgivable mortgages to funding for the first and second year's rent. There is a similar program for three companies in midtown.


5. Alaska

So it's a state, not a city, but you can move pretty much anywhere in Alaska and get paid by the government. However, you have to wait a year in Alaska to get the first check. This particular program is called the Permanent Fund dividend. To be eligible for the PFD, you must be a resident of Alaska for a full calendar year and intend to remain an Alaska resident indefinitely, along with a few other conditions. I'm sure some of you are hesitant because Alaska is so darn far away, but I'll tell you, I've been there, and it's a lovely state filled with lovely people. I almost moved there myself.


6. Chattanooga, Tenn.

Last but not least, Chattanooga is offering computer aces the chance to relocate to the city, known for its outdoor activities and, of course, the iconic song by the Glenn Miller band. The initiative, called the Geek Move, is targeted at developers and system administrators and offers a $10,000 forgivable second mortgage and $1,250 for relocation expenses. There is a similar program for police officers to move into certain areas, called the Police Fund. 


These are just some of the great places to live throughout the country. What does your town offer?


More from Wise Bread and MSN Money:


Jan 4, 2013 8:08AM

From bossip.com Detroit second most dangerous city in the US (2011 data). Sounds like a great place to become a crime victim.

Jan 3, 2013 9:53PM
There are reasons that people aren't moving into these locations. No ill-will intended.....I'm sure that each is lovely in its own quirky way.
Jan 4, 2013 12:29PM
I hear Detroit will also be throwing in a bag of weed, an 8 ball of coke and a free burial after you are murdered.
When your 85 you do not move anywhere.........
Jan 4, 2013 12:16AM
Any incentive to move out of Atlanta other than you probably will live longer.
Jan 4, 2013 8:27AM
I'm from Niagara Falls. You don't want to live here, believe me. There are too many reasons to list here, and there is no where to work. The city has been in decline for over 40 years and is now officially dead.....our political leaders have done nothing to change it.
Jan 4, 2013 10:47AM
I grew up in southwest Kansas, and left at my first opportunity when I was out of high school at 17.  Swore I'd never go back.  However, as I approach retirement age, I realize that you really can live anywhere as long as you can afford it, and many retiring people should at least consider moving someplace where the cost of living is relatively low in order to stretch whatever retirement funds they have.
Jan 3, 2013 11:17PM
I would love to live in Alaska!  Don't think I have enough money too though.
Jan 4, 2013 10:56AM
Chattanooga is a nice city in a beautiful area.  Unfortunately, the incentive to move there is very focused, "Computer Aces."  This excludes the majority of people.
Jan 4, 2013 8:57AM
cities just don't understand that they are void of a good life to bring up children! they only care about money and how they can get more. it's great to shop and work without using a car,but to live in fear of murder in the streets is just not worth the gain, so we move to less populated areas where life is a little slower paced. in the long run these places too turn into a over populated mess with the same crime as the inner city! we need to develop new cities with a large plan to keep up with the masses and too much outdoor activitys. keeping our young playing instead of living in fear! a place where our old can live out their remaining days in peace and die without sorrow! this as a people is unforgivable, but than i realize we are only animals! as in government we are just sheep to be herded. 
Jan 4, 2013 2:13PM




....born and raised in michigan....moved to new mexico 8 yrs ago.  Detroit is the last place i would move to.....nothing is going to bring that town back, nothing......

Jan 4, 2013 10:45AM

As a little girl in Detroit, I was branded a loser because I was more interested in the arts than in building cars. I hope people aren't still doing that to their kids today. I'M STILL NOT INTERESTED IN BUILDING CARS. I don't car if it "pays," I have ADD and when I get bored, NOTHING gets done. So, I will stay were I am and continue what I'm doing. I'm doing just fine today. There's nothing wrong with building cars, if that's what a person wants to do. But to automatically EXPECT any one thing from a child just because you live in a certain place is unfair to the child, who may have talents better used elsewhere. This actually goes for ANY career in ANY place.



Jan 4, 2013 12:54PM
you guys are funny, keep up the humor and the up beat thinking even under trying times, life is so short, God Bless
Jan 4, 2013 3:38PM
You couldn't pay me enough to move to Detroit!!
Jan 4, 2013 2:45PM
I rather get eaten by the polar bears then live in any of these choices
Jan 4, 2013 10:15AM
I live in the Atlanta area, but work in Chattanooga.  All I can say is Chattanooga is awesome!  I'll look into moving here!
Jan 4, 2013 3:56PM
The ONLY safe place in DETROIT is the DOWNTOWN area,  The problem is that you have to travel through the rest of the City to get THERE.  Some make it, some DON'T!!!!!!!!!!! 
Jan 4, 2013 3:04PM
N Falls - Never been, can't say.  Haven't read/heard good things over the years though.

Chattanooga - Never been, but have lived in the South.  They move too slowly for me down there.

Milnor ND - I grew up in a town half that size - good for kids. But the winters are pretty harsh, no?

Detroit - Never. Not even if the Fountain of Youth is discovered there.

Alaska - I like cold and snow for a month or two, that's enough for me and the Permanent Fund is only like what, $1,000 average? Big deal.  Add another zero on the end and call me.

Kansas - I could be packed and out of here in 24 hours (not kidding) if I could afford a farm out there.  I hate the city.

Jan 4, 2013 3:01PM
Golf membership in Milnor, N.D.  Isn't summer there like 2 months of bad ice fishing?
Jan 4, 2013 2:59PM
Even if any of the places listed seem exciting, you gotta be rich to get there to claim the "reward" as most working people are just managing from one check to the next. I would actually think a bit about anyplace that would pay up front to go there if employment could be assured or if I were to be ready to retire
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